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Texas Senate Votes Unanimously to Ban Animal Shelter Gas Chambers

“Killing dogs and cats with carbon monoxide is cruel, expensive and dangerous. The Senate just passed my bill to ban the practice. “

Kirk Watson via Facebook

The Texas State Senate voted unanimously this week to ban the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers for killing cats and dogs at the state’s animal shelters, with the passage of Senate Bill 360, authored by  State Sen. Kirk Watson. Senator Watson represents Austin, a city at the forefront of humane shelter policy.  The House version of the bill, sponsored by State Rep. Eddie Lucio, passed a committee vote unanimously, so the last step for the bill to become law is a floor vote in the House.

An estimated 100,000 homeless, stray, feral and surplus cats and dogs are killed at Texas shelters every year. Only 30 shelters, mostly in rural areas, still employ gas chambers for killing. All other shelter euthanasias in the state are conducted with the injection of sodium pentobarbitol. According to a blog post by Karen Brooks Harper in the Dallas.com online version of the Dallas Morning News, “Prior to the Texas Euthanasia Act of 2003, Texas shelters were killing dogs and cats by drowning, shooting, clubbing, strangling, and by carbon monoxide poisoning from truck and car exhaust systems hooked up to makeshift plywood boxes. The 2003 law prohibited most of these methods, limiting shelters to two methods: carbon monoxide gassing or sodium pentobarbital (euthanasia by injection/EBI).” At least, those methods were allowed and may have been employed by less enlightened shelters.

Senator Watson is quoted by KXAN saying, “SB 360 is an effort to assure humane end-of-life treatment for homeless animals. As a pet owner, I’ve made end-of-life choices that demonstrated sensitivity and respect for the animals I’ve loved. Animals living in shelters deserve that same consideration.”




8 comments

  • March 28, 2013 9:07 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Nelda Percival

    This is one of the best pieces of news I have read in a very long time!

    Now we need to get all states to BAN GASSING!

    Have you ever read what happens when animals are gassed?

    Well read this and then Thank the Lord that Texas has stopped!

    The WitnessProvo, Utah. A personal transformation took over one womans life, when she was a witness, through a small porthole window, of an animal shelter gas chamber doing its savage business.A comparison of Gas Chamber euthaniszation with euthanization by Injection was held and witnessed.Two of the employees of the shelter began pulling and tugging the larger dogs toward the chamber — this, in itself, was savage. The eyes of the terrified dogs were full of fear as they were shoved into the large metal cylinder. They would meet their demise with six other dogs and five young puppies, not breed specific, just alive and unwanted. Noise. Yelling. Fighting. These dogs that were either someone’s lost pet or someone’s forgotten family member now shivered again and again, their eyes huge, their nostrils flaring, their hearts broken. They were completely bewildered. All the dogs and puppies were in an obvious desperate struggle, and the gassing had yet to begin.Then a button was pushed, and the two employees in charge walked away as the chamber machine began pumping out streams of carbon monoxide. The little puppies started to paw at the glass window. After one full minute they started to whine and then produced a piercing squeal. Then the larger dogs started a high, mournful wailing, then a deeper howl that rose in great desperation for 45 seconds. 45 seconds – think about that.That morning of her witness, the start of the journey through hell for these dogs and puppies, to the completion of their cries of desperation, was between two and six minutes. Tears from her heart overwhelmed her that tragic morning, and the final insult was having to load the bodies of those precious dogs and puppies into a pickup truck to haul them to the local garbage dump.As she watched the employees walk away, unaffected, her newfound purpose was to fight to somehow make a difference to end this unnecessary suffering for these undeserving animals and make people see the truth of what goes on in the world of euthanasia for unwanted animals. Wide Disparity Across the country, there is wide disparity among shelters and their methods and application of euthanasia. Problems stemming from inadequate training, insufficient funding, indifference to animasuffering, and failure to recognize the need to change and update procedures, are found everywhere, from small rural shelters to large city facilities. The urgent need for a consensus on humane euthanasia is graphically illustrated by the following recent cases:Long Hill, NJ. A kennel owner admitted using an illegal drug to kill more than 600 animals using the powerful muscle-relaxing drug, succinylcholine chloride that was banned in 1988 for euthanasia in New Jersey. This drug essentially paralyzes the animal, including the diaphragm and breathing muscles, but has no effect on consciousness — the terrified animal is fully aware that he cannot breathe, and helplessly suffocates to death. Numerous other violations were found by inspectors on several surprise visits, including failure to hold animals for the required length of time before killing them, and neglecting to provide veterinary care to a dog with a broken leg.Additionally, more than 300 cats were killed by injections directly into the heart — which is not only stressful but acutely painful. The kennel owner was fined $18,715.Vermilion Parish, LA. Animals are still euthanized by a regular 6-cylinder gasoline engine that pumps acrid exhaust gas into the small room where they are confined. Even though the gas is pumped through water to cool it a little, the fumes are still hot, irritating, and painful. Their skin and eyes burning, the animals die slowly and horribly. Animal protection groups have been trying since 1992 to get the shelter to change to a more humane method of euthanasia,but in spite of lawsuits and letters, the parish remains resistant to voluntarily changing its ways. Albuquerque, NM. An audit by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) found many serious problems with the care of animals at the two city shelters. The audit team was so alarmed at the conditions that they issued a preliminary report blasting the treatment of animals. HSUS representatives found that dogs were killed by painful direct injections to the heart while conscious, a practice that even the lenient American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA ) guidelines condemns as inhumane. Animals were restrained (and sometimes lifted) with a “catch” or “control” pole (a long-handled pole with a coated wire noose at one end that is placed around the animal’s neck and tightened), allegedly to prevent injury to staff members.However, the audit team concluded that it was more likely due to lack of training, as well as an apparent lack of concern for the comfort, anxiety, and needs of the animals being euthanized. The report states,”The HSUS did not witness any instance where an animal was held or comforted for a gentle death.” Worst of all, the HSUS team found that seven animals were still alive (their hearts were beating) after they were placed in the freezer. The Albuquerque shelters euthanize about 18,000 animals annually — 75% of the animals that come through their doors. Sacramento, CA. As it had in Albuquerque, word got out about the poor conditions at the Sacramento City animal shelter. The HSUS was brought in to assess the shelter and make recommendations. Consultants found “most staff displaying a lack of concern for an animal’s anxiety level, pain response, and overall well-being,” as well as an obvious lack of training. Supervision was extremely poor in many areas. Shelter personnel never scanned animals for microchips before killing them, refused to use tranquilizers for fractious animals (relying instead on brute physical force to restrain them), killed dogs in full view of live dogs awaiting euthanasia, and committed many other violations of shelter policy. A chloroform chamber used to kill small animals was used improperly. A live newborn kitten was put into the chamber with six dead kittens who had been killed the day before. The following day, a live pigeon was placed in the chamber with the seven dead kittens. An HSUS team member finally asked a supervisor to check the chamber, at which time they removed the dead animals — four days after the first six kittens died in it. Unlike Albuquerque, however, Sacramento immediately began to remedy the deficits, and has made an effort to be responsive to the report findings as well as to the concerned citizens in the community. Not all the news is bad, of course. At least one community has had a major wake-up call. In Greensboro, NC, frustrated Sheriff BJ Barnes, upset at learning that more than 75% of the animals entering his shelter were being killed, decided to televise the euthanasia of a dog on his weekly show. Viewers were shocked, but they also got the message: animal overpopulation is everyone’s problem. Adoptions from the local shelter skyrocketed, and local veterinarians reported an increase in inquiries about spaying and neutering. And cities like San Francisco, where municipal animal control and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (SPCA) are working together to make sure that every adoptable animal gets a good chance for a home, have set a wonderful example for other agencies As we can see below, many rural communities are trying to stop the stressful process of the gassing of animals whether in the best gas chambers that still force attendants to put up to 8 dogs on top of each other as they are wheeled around the shelter collecting them, and then wheeled into the gas chamber room. In recent years, 6-8 million lost and unwanted dogs and cats entered animal shelters throughout the US. Only half made it out alive: the other 3-4 million were euthanized. That’s nearly a quarter million animals a month, 405 every hour, one every nine seconds. In human terms, this is proportional to losing the entire human population of Los Angeles every year. More than 12 million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters annually, an endless tide of incoming animals. Few of these animals will be reclaimed, and many shelters lack space to keep even most adoptable animals. Of lost cats that end up in shelters, only 2% will be returned to their homes. Dogs have it better, because they are more likely to be wearing rabies or identification tags, but even so, only 16% will be reclaimed. On average, only about 1/3 of animals put up for adoption at shelters will actually find homes. For the rest, euthanasia. “Euthanasia” literally means “good death,” and is usually interpreted to mean a quick, painless, and humane method of dying. It seems self-evident that death should also be in the best interests of the animal. The decision to euthanize a sick, dangerous, or otherwise unadoptable animal is relatively uncomplicated to make. However, millions of healthy, friendly animals also end up in shelters. They are adoptable — but there are just not enough homes available for all of them. It is the task of shelters to select those who will be placed in the adoption kennels. Animals who have been in the adoption kennel too long, and all the rest who never had the chance, are taken to the euthanasia room.MethodsThe euthanasia method of choice for use in animal shelters is the injection of an overdose of a barbiturate anesthetic called sodium pentobarbital. In API’s view, it is the only acceptable method of euthanizing shelter animals. When injected into a vein, this drug produces rapid unconsciousness and death without the pain and distress that accompany all other methods. For cats, kittens, puppies, and other small mammals, a direct injection into the abdominal cavity is also acceptable, though not as rapid or reliable as the intravenous route. This method is the most cost-effective and overall least expensive of all euthanasia techniques (according to the Michigan Humane Society, the cost of lethal injection, materials and labor is $2.88 per animal). It does require adequate staff training, and because each animal is handled individually, it is somewhat more emotionally taxing to workers than mass euthanasia methods. The injection process allows shelter staff to provide personal comfort to each animal in its last moments, which may greatly offset the emotional stress. Five states (CA, FL, ME, OR, PA) specify lethal injection (usually of a barbiturate) as the only allowable method of euthanasia, and similar laws are currently being considered in Tennessee and Rhode Island. About 20 states specifically allow lethal injection. Shelters employ a number of other “euthanasia” methods. One common method is the gas chamber. Either carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2) is generally used, though some still use nitrogen gas. California banned the use of CO gas chambers for euthanasia effective January 1,2001. Many injection givers initially resisted the change, because injection requires two workers and extended physical contact with the animal, but once they understood the process, they realized it is better for the animal, and actually less stressful for them. For some animals, the gentle touch of a shelter worker during the euthanasia process may be the only real affection they have ever had. Not that this makes things any better, but the lethal injection technique allows the worker to comfort the animal and experience closure of the death process. Three states (AZ, SC, TN) specifically allow nitrogen gas, and three (OK, SC, TN) allow carbon monoxide; all of these states also allow lethal injection, with gas as an alternate method. Gas chambers have many limitations which make the method less practical, slower, more dangerous to staff (a shelter worker died of CO poisoning just last year), and ultimately more expensive than lethal injection.Abuse of the chamber is common. While shelter policies commonly require physical separation in individual cages and close observation of the process, in many cases animals are simply shoved into the chamber, the door sealed, the button pushed, and the employee walks away. The sponsor of the bill in Tennessee that would mandate lethal injection said of the gas chamber that it “results in a slow, painful death.” Ronald R. Grier and Tom L.Colvin’s 1990 Euthanasia Guide for Animal Shelters recommends that all animals should be tranquilized before placement in the chamber — something that is virtually never done in practice.Three states (DE, OK, TN) allow chloroform for animals under 8 weeks of age (young animals up to 4 months old are resistant to gas euthanasia).Eleven states defer to a higher authority, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the state veterinary board (OH), or the state veterinarian (VA), or provide standards for humane death (IA, NH, ND, RI, SC, WA). One state (SC) allows shooting (in emergencies). Only one state (AZ) allows the use of T-61, a drug that is considered unacceptable by AVMA because it immobilizes and suffocates the animal without causing unconsciousness, resulting in pain and distress. Twenty-five states have banned the use of “high altitude” decompression chambers, which were used extensively in the 1950s and 1960s, but were subsequently deemed to be cruel.The Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia is used as a reference by hundreds of shelters around the country, and four states (GA, KS, MO, NY) mandate using only methods considered acceptable in this report. The report was revised in 2000; unfortunately, the updated version has significant problems, but nevertheless was passed and published by the AVMA, primarily through the force of will of a single individual who ramrodded it through — over the reservations of the committee that produced it, as well as the unanimous disapproval of the organization’s main governing body. The report fails to address the inappropriateness of CO for animals under 16 weeks of age, and sick, pregnant, injured, or old animals. In spite of the report’s own statement that CO2 “may be distressing” especially to cats, it is included as an acceptable method of feline euthanasia. Suffocating birds by pressing on their chests isreferred to as “apparently painless.” Kill-traps, which rarely function properly even under controlled laboratory conditions and are indiscriminate killers of any animal that gets caught in them, are promoted as “practical and effective” for wildlife. And electrocution is considered “conditionally acceptable” for dogs.The Last StopThe local shelter is too often the last stop for a dog or cat. Shelters have been put into this unenviable position by the irresponsible breeding of far too many animals. Puppy mills, pet stores, backyard breeders, “responsible” hobby and show breeders, people who simply won’t, don’t bother, or “forget” to have their animals spayed or neutered, pet food companies who subsidize breeders with free samples and discount coupons, and the cat and dog breed “clubs” that encourage breeding – all contribute to this massive problem. It is a sad fact that, when a human being chooses to create a relationship with another living being, then fails to live up to the responsibilities that go with that relationship, we allow the human to walk away guilt-free – it is always the animal who pays 100% of the price for the human’s errors. We often hear “responsible” breeders complain that the real problem is the irresponsible owners, backyard breeders, and puppy mills. And there’s no doubt that those are huge problems. Puppy mills around the country contribute thousands of puppies to pet overpopulation every year. But let’s take a closer look at those “responsible” breeders. They generally advertise in a few well-known national magazines, or on their own websites. In one issue of one dog magazine there are individual listings for about 700 breeders. If each of those breeders produces only three litters per year (an extremely conservative estimate), with an average of 6 per litter, those breeders are putting out more than 25,000 puppies and kittens per year. The American Kennel Club registered nearly 1,175,500 puppies in 2000 from active breeders. Whether they admit it or deny it, the truth is that each and every person who — accidentally or purposely — produces even one more puppy or kitten is part of the problem. We all have to work together to solve it — nobody can be exempt. Until pet overpopulation is controlled, 8-10 million cats and dogs will be killed this year, and every year, in U.S. shelters. (And this shocking figure doesn’t include countless thousands of animals who never make it to the shelter, but are abandoned to live and die on the streets or in the country.)The good news is that pet overpopulation is on the decline. However, projections suggest it will be another twenty-five years before we end it; and that’s only possible with continued hard work, dedication, and public education. We are making progress, but this is in spite of people who continue to breed and industries that support breeding. If those who are creating the problem would take full responsibility, we could reach the ultimate goal — to eliminate the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals — much faster. A shelter should be there to care for animals, to relieve suffering — not amplify or prolong it. An animal may have already suffered greatly prior to ending up at a shelter, and the unfamiliarity, confinement, and noise of the shelter environment is extremely stressful in and of itself. Therefore, we have an obligation to ensure that needless suffering is not that animal’s tragic end to life. The Human TollShelter workers must daily confront the need to euthanize many healthy, friendly, adoptable animals. They must accept these animals from the public, listen to the flimsy excuses for relinquishment (“I’m moving,” “I got new furniture,” “My boyfriend doesn’t like him”), smile politely, and swallow the words that they must so often want to shout — “This animal trusts you! This animal loves you! You have a responsibility here! How can you abandon him?” Having accepted these unwanted animals, shelter workers must feed, brush, walk, care for, and get to know them for three or five or seven days, and then, except for those few that have been adopted, they must take them into a small, barren room and kill them.www.animal-abusesite.info/euthanisia.htmlA No Kill Nation?In the midst of agony over euthanasia of adoptable pets comes the national debate between no-kill shelters and so-called “kill” shelters. The success of the San Francisco SPCA’s no-kill program and the establishment of the Duffield Family Foundation project to extend that success to a “No-kill Nation” bring the discussion to the front burner. Unfortunately, people have taken sides based more on political perspectives than on whether such a goal is feasible or even possible.There are basically two schools of thought about shelter euthanasia: people tend to believe either that society is to blame for the deaths and therefore society must be punished with restrictive laws or they believe in education, compromise, and reason to bring about the desired goal. One perspective makes enemies of people, the other brings out the best.When the San Francisco SPCA dropped its contract as the city’s animal control agency and began its quest to save all adoptable cats an dogs in the city, it was criticized by some other California shelters that questioned its definition of “adoptable” and complained that no-kill facilities merely shift the burden of killing to other shelters. But the SPCA turned a deaf ear to the censure and plowed on. It soon became obvious that only the very old, very ill, severely injured, or aggressive dogs were to be euthanized at the SPCA and that no animals would die for lack of space or because they had treatable diseases or behavior problems.No-Kill SheltersMost nonprofit no-kill shelters are privately run. They are not associated with any government, operate on donations and fund-raising projects, work closely with rescue organizations, and try a variety of innovative programs to reduce the numbers of stray animals in the community. They often spay or neuter every animal that leaves the premises, check for heartworm, treat dogs with minor illnesses or injuries, organize feral cat care colonies, conduct obedience training classes or work out training agreements with private instructors or membership clubs, and offer pet care education programs to schools. Some no-kill shelters work with service dog organizations to provide dogs for training as helpers for handicapped owners. Many offer spay-and-neuter assistance and vaccination clinics for low-income and indigent pet owners.Volunteers often flock to private shelters because people are more likely to work with a dog if they know the end result is a chance at a good life, not euthanasia.No-kill shelters do euthanize some dogs – old, chronically ill, severely injured, and aggressive dogs that cannot safely be put in new homes do die to make room for more adoptable animals. They also keep waiting lists so that needy animals can get in as soon as space is available and prospective dog owners can be referred to those who have a dog of a specific breed or type to give up.Public SheltersMost states have laws regarding the incarceration of stray dogs, vicious dogs, and dogs that are impounded pending outcome of court cases. In many areas, these laws are carried out through contracts with private, nonprofit humane societies; since the contracts require that stray dogs be picked up and held for a minimum number of days, these societies are placed in the untenable position of killing some dogs to make room for others. Thus many healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized.Many of these societies also accept dogs and cats surrendered by their owners. These animals are also likely to be euthanized to make room for others if they are not adopted quickly.Some public shelters are run by city or county governments. They are generally supported by tax dollars and dog licenses and their programs are limited by government budget allotments.Since space is a problem in public shelters, the dividing line between adoptable dogs and unadoptable dogs is easy to cross. A dog that rebels at a dose of intranasal kennel cough vaccine, one that develops kennel cough or has ear mites, one that comes into heat, cowers in the corner, or growls at the kennel attendant is likely to be euthanized to make way for the next truckload of strays or group of owner-surrendered pets.Public shelters also offer many of the same programs and services as private shelters. They work with rescue groups, offer some type of sterilization service, vaccinate adoptable animals, check for heartworm, and microchip outgoing dogs and cats. Some even provide counseling services for adopters and obedience classes for adoptees.All shelters – public and private – need volunteers and funds if they are to reduce euthanasia of adoptable dogs. Carrots or Sticks?The opposing shelter philosophies often boil down not to a kill vs no-kill modus operandi, but to a competition between those who would drive people to responsibility and those who would bribe people to do the right thing. Despite the fact that euthanasia of dogs has declined dramatically in the past dozen years through voluntary efforts, the former group often blames breeders for producing too many puppies and proposes breeding restrictions and mandatory sterilization of pets to end the killing in shelters. The latter group foregoes legislative solutions in favor of education and services that increase adoptions, help people sterilize their pets, make good pet selections, and keep the pets they own. They, too, promote spay and neuter of pets, but as a voluntary means to reduce unwanted litters, not a matter of law.Some programs that work1. Landlord agreements: Since many dogs are given up when owners move into apartment, shelters can work with apartment managers to establish contracts for pet owners that require the dog to be obedience-trained, house-trained, and quiet. The contracts can require references from a veterinarian and from previous landlords. These agreements can broaden housing opportunities for pet owners, keeping some dogs from surrender to the shelter and allowing more adoptions to apartment-dwellers.2. Behavior counselors or obedience instructors: Many dogs are surrendered because the owners are frustrated with behavior problems that may be nothing more than failure to train or lack of understanding of normal dog behavior. An on-staff behavior counselor or obedience instructor or an agreement with a private trainer or obedience club can work to keep these dogs in their homes or get them ready for new homes.3. Prison programs: Allowing prisoners to foster and train shelter dogs has benefits for both – the dog learns manners and thus becomes more adoptable and the prisoner gets the opportunity to bond with the dog and learn responsibility.4. Puppy transfers: People want puppies, but spay and neuter programs have been so successful in some areas of the country that puppies are in short supply. Some shelters therefore import puppies from areas in which they are plentiful.5. Campaigns to promote older dogs: In spite of much evidence to the contrary, people still hold on to the old adage that says “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Nonsense. With a bit of extra care and commitment, older dogs can adapt to new circumstances and bring years of pleasure to families and individuals. Shelters can promote adoptions of older dogs through community campaigns that emphasize the advantages of a house-trained pet with good manners.6. Innovative sentencing: Public shelters can champion innovative sentencing for dog owners who violate animal control laws. Instead of fining owners and waiting for the next time Rover gets loose (or is turned loose), they can work with the courts to require that owners attend a responsible dog ownership session or take Rover to obedience school. (In some areas, fines are so high that owners cannot afford to bail out their pet; programs that instill responsibility rather than simply costing money are more likely to result in a reclaimed dog.)7. Identification programs: Shelters are in good position to adopt identification programs as means to return dogs to their owners. Insertion of a microchip in every dog that leaves the shelter (adopted or reclaimed) along with an offer to chip all dogs in the community could go a long way towards ending euthanasia of stray dogs. Dog lovers concerned about euthanasia statistics have an unparalleled opportunity to make a difference by calling a local shelter – public or private – and offering their services to help with fund-raising, cleaning kennels, walking or grooming dogs, training dogs, fostering dogs, helping with education programs, etc. Shelters differ in their needs and programs, but most welcome assistance.Norma Bennett WoolfPHOTOGRAPHYThe Shelter Dog SeriesAll of the Photographs in this article were taken by Photographer Andreas Holm who recently made a small collaboration called Shelter Dogs with The Toby Project in New York.The Toby Project’s mission is to end the killing of tens of thousands of adoptable dogs and cats each year in New York City’s municipal animal shelters by preventing the births of unwanted dogs and cats through spay & neuter services. To see more photos from the Shelter Dogs series visit: http://www.andreasholm.com/blog/category/shelter-dogsTo find out more about The Toby Project visit: http://www.tobyproject.org
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    March 28, 2013 11:30 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Kelly

    Fantastic!

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    March 29, 2013 12:53 amPosted 1 year ago
    Mari-jean Bowker

    That is so inhumane.I can’ t believe the barbaric treatment of these babies.God bless them all!

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    March 29, 2013 10:54 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Doni Stith

    I want remove the gas chamber off . I hate the gas chamber murder all of dogs and cats . It’s evil .

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    March 30, 2013 2:48 amPosted 1 year ago
    Arleen

    Now, let’s hope the House passes it too. It’s time for Texas to step into the 21st century!

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      March 31, 2013 2:21 pmPosted 1 year ago
      Teresa

      And my state of SC does too.

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    March 30, 2013 2:03 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Rebecca Gwynn

    Any killing of innocents is wrong! What Texas and many others need to do is follow the examples of Los Angeles and San Mateo, Calif counties, King County, Wash, Rock Island, Il and the state of Rhode Island who have passed strong spay/neuter laws. This would go a long way to reduce the number of cats and dogs brought to shelters in the first place. It’s sad to say, but many, many people are either too stupid or lazy to have their animals spayed and neutered, resulting the needless suffering and death of so many innocent animals who did not ask to be born in the first place. I applaud Texas for getting rid of the gas chamber, but we all need to do more!!!!

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    March 31, 2013 2:20 pmPosted 1 year ago
    Teresa

    All gas chambers should be banned, they are the most barbaric and inhumane things. I’m preaching to the choir here, but we need to try to get everyone we know to spay/neuter their pets. Some just don’t think about it, some cannot afford it. I called my vet about spaying a cat I found at work and because the cat was over 4 months of age, they said it would cost 425.00. That is ridiculous. I called the Charleston Animal Society, 20.00 covered spay, overnight stay, pain meds and her rabies and other vaccinations, I took her in that week. They even have Saturday hours. They CARE about animals…need more like this

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